I miss having K with me in the forest for our bike rides and hikes. My heart literally aches at times.
I've been thinking about games and training that I can do with her that are almost completely sedentary. I love the ideas you've given me so far - object discrimination, scent discrimination, and shaping some fun movements like batting her eyelashes. For the moment, I'm keeping it simple since she's still on lots of pain meds but we did start playing a simple object discrimination game, and, more than anything, she enthusiastically relished the attention.
Then, last evening, I lay down next to her. She burrowed toward me, snuggling her head onto my shoulder. In a moment, she was sound asleep, breathing deeply and contentedly.
Then, I realized, all that either of us really wants is to be together. Just "being" is enough in those moments. The love of a dog is miraculous.
One good outcome of the whirlwind of changes might be that R and I will become closer. Yesterday, the imp and I spent some time in the forest together, both playing and training. He did a frolicking recall through a tunnel of gold.
We were surprised twice by hikers at odd times and in unexpected places. As we practiced a recall, people appeared over a hill. R diverted his attention to them, paused, but remembered his purpose and came to me at the end. Here's the instant when he spotted the interlopers.
Later, he did a "stand-stay" atop a boulder near sunset.
A person approached from behind him but he stayed. I was so pleased with him. People are the greatest temptation for him, aside from rabbits and squirrels.
Spending time with my dogs makes me smile.